|Jan/Feb 2007 Poetry|
She thinks of an orange: of the sudden splash
of yellow, of seeds, of the sheer beauty of the spheres.
How everything that is spherical and yellow carries
God's signature. Like the sun. Like yolk.
She thinks of fried eggs: of their round delicate centers,
of bacon fat, of butter caramelizing around the edges.
How everything that is buttery and fried is comforting.
Like a porch swing. Like chamomile.
She thinks of safflower oil: of its perennial possibilities,
of minced garlic, of anything that sizzles. How everything
that crackles and hisses can drive the words out.
Like sexy. Like steamy. Like shhh.
Annie always knew that angels could disguise
themselves as dandelions, when everyone
else thought they were just mustard-colored weeds.
She knew that angels could shine for her like honey,
take the place of anything opaque: mama weeping
rivers over the silver kitchen sink; papa sitting
in the dark, letting each Viceroy burn down to its sticky
filter; sister's fitful hands hiding in deep, dark pockets.
When Annie grew up, the angels took on different shapes—
separated and multiplied like tiny, winged embryos.
One took the shape of a four-bedroom house—
the other, a closet full of clothes. Another split into four
disparate children who clung to her like bright balloons.
But soon the angels grew tired of being domesticated,
refashioned themselves into powdery, white disks—
just small enough to fit into the palm of her hand.
This is where the angels gather each morning,
each night—waiting for her to swallow them whole.